Students Who Don't Understand Information Flow Should Be Eaten: An Experience Paper

Roya Ensafi, Mike Jacobi, Jedidiah R. Crandall
2012 USENIX Security Symposium  
Information flow is still relevant, from browser privacy to side-channel attacks on cryptography. However, many of the seminal ideas come from an era when multi-level secure systems were the main subject of study. Students have a hard time relating the material to today's familiar commodity systems. We describe our experiences developing and utilizing an online version of the game Werewolves of Miller's Hollow (a variant of Mafia). To avoid being eaten, students must exploit inference channels
more » ... n a Linux system to discover "werewolves" among a population of "townspeople." Because the werewolves must secretly discuss and vote about who they want to eat at night, they are forced to have some amount of keystroke and network activity in their remote shells at this time. In each instance of the game the werewolves are chosen at random from among the townspeople, creating an interesting dynamic where students must think about information flow from both perspectives and keep adapting their techniques and strategies throughout the semester. This game has engendered a great deal of enthusiasm among our students, and we have witnessed many interesting attacks that we did not anticipate. We plan to release the game under an open source software license.
dblp:conf/uss/EnsafiJC12 fatcat:oiikfblfv5c25letvrougsphwi